No direct appointments? What’s a new insurance agent to do?

No direct appointments? What’s a new insurance agent to do?

Friday, September 14, 2018/Insureon Solutions, Direct Appointments

PropertyCasualty360 recently posted an article suggesting independent agents would be better off trimming down their carrier relationships. Maybe that’s good advice for established veterans (and that’s a big maybe), but what about someone who is just starting an independent insurance agency? Without direct appointments, their new agency is dead in the water.

But it’s not like carriers are handing out appointments left and right. They usually want to appoint insurance agents who have:

  • A track record of success.

  • A solid business plan.

  • A profitable territory.

These requirements leave most new agents looking for alternatives to direct appointments. Here are a few options.

Join a cluster

An insurance cluster, sometimes called an insurance alliance or network, is a group of agencies that work together to:

  • Get access to multiple insurance carriers and their products.

  • Negotiate better commissions.

  • Provide members with resources, like an agency management system or marketing support.

Some clusters also offer profit sharing, which can be a major benefit for a new insurance agent.

Despite these benefits, clusters have a few drawbacks. First, they usually cost money. Most charge an initiation fee, plus a monthly or yearly fee. Some may even charge fees on your commissions.

Perhaps more importantly, joining a cluster means you’ve sacrificed some of your independence. You may end up having volume requirements or losing ownership of your book of business. Even leaving a cluster can be difficult if you’ve signed a long-term contract.

Start as a captive agent

Being a captive agent, or an insurance agent who only sells one insurer’s products, probably sounds like a terrible idea to anyone whose main goal is to be independent. However, it can be a good way to:

  • Make business connections.

  • Learn the insurance industry.

  • Build your book.

Most carriers allow their captive agents to buy their book of business after a certain amount of time. You can combine this with your industry expertise and relationships to make a real go at owning your own agency.

Partner with a digital wholesaler

Disruption in the insurance industry has brought about a third option for rookie insurance agents: the digital wholesaler. A wholesaler is an entity that works with an agent to place business with an insurer. A digital wholesaler, like Insureon Solutions, takes that traditional model and puts it online.

For example, Insureon Solutions carries direct appointments with multiple admitted and non-admitted insurers. When someone partners with us, they get immediate access to our carriers without having to worry about production requirements, long-term contracts, or extra fees. In fact, partnering with Insureon Solutions costs independent insurance agents absolutely nothing. Within moments of registering, agents can:

  • Submit new business.

  • Get same-day quotes on 80 percent of their applications.

  • Work with a team of insurance professionals dedicated to their success.

  • Enjoy complete confidentiality on all submitted business.

Partnering with a digital wholesaler can help independent insurance agents access carriers without direct appointments. See why Insureon Solutions may be the right choice for your agency and partner with us today.